ONS Education Supports Oncology Nurses Through Every Season Transition

September 04, 2023 by Danya Garner PhD, RN, NPD-BC, OCN®, CCRN, 2023–2024 ONS President

When summer ends in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox ushers in fall on September 23, 2023, the earth begins to tilt away from the sun, making the nights grow longer and days shorter until the winter solstice. Those of us working 12-hour shifts especially notice the decrease in daylight, coming to and leaving our workplaces in darkness.

Historically, fall marks the beginning of academic calendars. You may be sending children off to school terms, or you may be continuing your own nursing education. As your activities and preparation stressors surge, please do not neglect yourself. Strive to balance self-care practices while marking off your to-do lists. 

One way to do that is through a great oncology nursing education event that occurs in the fall: ONS Bridge! The leading virtual oncology nursing conference, ONS Bridge (https://www.ons.org/bridge/2023) will occur September 12 and 14, 2023, and you still have time to register (https://www.ons.org/bridge/2023/registration) for the live or on-demand sessions. You can earn up to 19.75 NCPD contact hours with topics such as checkpoint inhibitor side effects and management, genomics, providing care to patients with physical disabilities, and much more. 

Whether you are interested in earning contact hours or enhancing your career, you can also explore ONS’s many member resources (https://www.ons.org/explore-resources?display=results&sort_by=created&items_per_page=50) and tailor them to reach your educational goals. One of my favorite resources is the ONS Huddle Cards, which provide brief education in a comprehensive one-page document. I encourage all my oncology nursing colleagues to use the cards to stay abreast of the latest evidence-based information. 

Balance is essential. While you are enhancing your oncology knowledge, fall is also a great opportunity to spend time outside in the beauty of nature with well-being activities such as walking, running, and practicing yoga. This fall, I am training for another marathon, which is one of the ways that I balance, energize, and recenter so I can be the best version of an oncology nurse that I can be. 

Although our daylight shortens as the night skies lengthen, your wonderous abilities and the care that you provide to those with cancer and their families do not dim. Pause to reflect on what you’ve achieved in past seasons and the progress you have made toward the goals you wish to accomplish for the rest of 2023. Whatever your spherical tilt, recognize your nursing journey and the impact you have had on people living with cancer during the seasons this year. Remember that “autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower (https://nevenamrdjenovic.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/microsoft-word-the-misunderstanding.pdf).”  

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